MWSS orders Maynilad, Manila Water to slash rates
MANILA, Philippines - Instead of raising rates, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Thursday ordered water concessionaires in Metro Manila to cut their charges in the next five years.
MWSS ordered east zone concessionaire Manila Water to reduce water charges by P7.24/cubic meter and west zone concessionaire Maynilad Water to reduce rates by P1.46/cubic meter in the next five years.
In response to the decision, Manila Water and Maynilad said they will initiate arbitration proceedings to dispute the MWSS decision.
Maynilad said the MWSS decision to reduce its water tariff is "unjustified."
"Maynilad will thus initiate arbitration proceedings to dispute the MWSS decision and to settle the tariff rebasing issues promptly, to avoid any disruption in its operations to the detriment of its consumers," the company said.
On the other hand, Manila Water said the rate reduction will compromise its ability to fulfill its service obligations to its customers.
"Under these circumstances, we feel and believe it is our duty to challenge the MWSS rate determination. As such, we will file the dispute notice which officially commences the process of arbitration as prescribed in the Concession Agreement," Manila Water said.
In their petition with the MWSS, Manila Water had sought a P5.83 per cubic meter increase in basic charge, while Maynilad asked for a P8.58 per cubic meter hike.
The proposed adjustments are part of the concession contract the two companies signed with the MWSS in 1997, that allows a rate rebasing scheme every 5 years. Rate rebasing allows the firms to adjust tariffs based on operation costs. - With report from Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News